Making his first public comments on web3, Alphabet Inc Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said he is watching the blockchain space and looking at how Google’s parent firm can add value to development of the technology that’s being embraced by many of his Silicon Valley peers.

“Any time there is innovation, I find it exciting," Pichai said in response to a question about the technology on Alphabet’s earnings call. “I think it’s something we want to support the best we can."

Investors have plowed money into companies working on web3, a vision of the internet model built around cryptocurrencies and digital ownership. Many other technology firms, such as Block Inc, Meta Platforms Inc and Twitter Inc, have embraced this fervor with plans for payments, coins or services that incorporate digital tokens. Google has largely stayed quiet on the topic.

“We are definitely looking at blockchain," Pichai stated. “It’s such an interesting and powerful technology with broad applications." He cited a recent announcement Google’s cloud division made to win more contracts with companies working on “digital assets." 

Google has also started its own team working on blockchain. Pichai didn’t mention cryptocurrencies, which the company currently doesn’t accept for its ads or payments service. 

Many web3 evangelists position the nascent technology as an antidote to centralized internet providers like Google. Pichai made his comments after Alphabet posted more than $20 billion in profit during the holiday quarter from its stable of web properties.

On the call, Pichai touted Google’s investments in augmented reality, noting plans to bring key services like Maps and YouTube into whatever virtual worlds people may use in the future. He didn’t mention any work on devices.

All about Web3 or Web 3.0

Web3 points to a more transparent, decentralized and equitable web, which in principle is better than an Internet controlled by a handful of mega corporations.

Web3 broadly refers to a next chapter of the Internet where the apps and services people use are radically restructured to run on blockchain technology, as opposed to company-owned platforms, meaning their inner workings are made more transparent and content creators have opportunities to take a slice of proceeds.

Musk, Dorsey mock tech's latest buzzword

Earlier, billionaires Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey had dismissed the so-called Web3 and criticized the involvement of venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz in building out what some have called the next phase of the internet.

Web3, a vague term for a utopian version of the internet that is decentralized, is based on digital record-keeping technology blockchain, which also drives the platforms running cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Musk on Tuesday tweeted, "Has anyone seen web3? I can't find it."

To this, former Twitter Inc top boss Dorsey replied, "It's somewhere between a and z."

Dorsey did not elaborate on the tweet. Venture capital firms such as a16z, founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, have heavily backed blockchain, crypto and Web3. Andreessen Horowitz was not immediately available for comment.